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Prigioni key to Knicks’ success
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On April 30, 2013 @ 9:56 pm In Wirenews | Comments Disabled
by Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY Sports
New York Knicks coach Mike Woodson likes veteran players so much even his rookies are old.
New York’s decision before the season to sign Pablo Prigioni, who will turn 36 on May 17, for his first NBA season after a successful international career has worked.
In 21 games with Prigioni in the starting lineup, the Knicks are 18-3, including 2-1 in their first-round Eastern Conference playoff series against the Boston Celtics.
“He’s brilliant,” Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. “He’s another Jason Kidd-ish type of guy. It just gives them another smart player on the floor and another guy that can create plays. That makes them really good.”
Game 5 is Wednesday in New York (7 p.m. ET, TNT), and the Knicks, up 3-1 in the series, can eliminate the Celtics and prepare for their next opponent, either the Atlanta Hawks or Indiana Pacers.
Prigioni missed Game 1 with a sprained right ankle but started the next three games. The point guard from Argentina, who also has citizenship in Italy, doesn’t do one thing spectacular – just everything well.
He doesn’t score a ton of points, but makes necessary shots. He doesn’t deliver a ton of assists, but facilitates ball movement, leading to baskets. Prigioni is also a pesky defender willing to pick up the other team’s point guard before half court to slow and disrupt the opponent’s offense.
“Pablo is very aggressive, a guy who just bothers you the whole game, stays on top of you, stays in you, is just always nagging you the whole game,” Knicks point guard Raymond Felton said. “And that’s something that’s big for us. He initiates our whole defense. When we see him out there working as hard as he does, playing as hard as he does, it makes us want to play, too.”
The Knicks flooded their backcourt with veteran point guards, dismissing – like other teams are doing – the notion of a traditional lineups with a point guard, shooting guard, small forward, power forward and center.
The Knicks have no problem playing two point guards at the same time – either Felton and Kidd, Felton and Prigioni or Kidd and … [For more on Pablo Prigioni key to New York Knicks' success, click here.]
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